Planning to buy a house? Know the jargon well

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     When Narendra Kumar, a professional working in an MNC of Mumbai, was looking for a home to buy, agents and marketing agents confused him with jargon such as carpet area, built-up area and super built-up area. Like him there are many. If you are not alert, it is easy to get trapped and fooled by brokers or builders with such terminologies especially when you are a first time home buyer.

So what do these jargons mean?

Carpet area -

     As the name suggests, it is the area that allows us to spread a carpet inside the house. To make it simple – If you had to lay out a wall-to-wall carpet in your entire home, the area covered would be the carpet area. It is defined as the area calculated from inner wall to wall distance inside the house. This would also include staircase if any, inside the house. So essentially, carpet area is the net usable area inside the house.

Built-up area -

     It is inclusive of not just the carpet area but also the area being occupied by the walls of your home. Built-up area is Carpet Area + Area of the walls and ducts + 1/2 area of the terrace. It is usually 10 per cent more than the carpet area. A terrace is considered half of the actual area for calculating the built-up area.

Super built-up area:

     This is also known as the ‘saleable or useable’ area. This area is the sum of the built-up area + common spaces which include the apartment’s proportionate share of the lobby, common staircase, lift and the corridor outside the apartment, club house and awnings. Super built-up area is usually around 25 per cent more than built-up area.

     There are many instances where confusion arises over super built-up area. Ankur Budhiraja, a Delhi based real estate consultant says, “Super built-up area depends on the project and on the builder’s judgment. Some even include the terrace, security room, electrical room and/or pump room. The cumulative total of these ‘extras’ is taken into account and divided by the number of apartments in proportion to their size.”

     Hitesh Gala, a user on Open house, is interested in buying a 2BHK unit in a new construction, ready for possession project. The builder is offering him apartments at the cost of Rs 60 lakh, which is calculated on the super built-up area of the unit, but the agreement will include the cost calculated on the built-up area only. So, the price of the unit mentioned in the agreement is less than what he is paying. He wants to ask if there is any rule where the builder cannot incorporate super built-up area in the agreement?, “Value of the flat should be calculated on the super built-up area. Only modification you have to do in the agreement is to mention both super built-up area and built-up area.”

How to calculate?

     If a builder proposes to sell an 1100 sq ft size of apartment, find out if it is the carpet area or super built-up area. It doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting 1100 sq ft for personal use. Here, an 1100 sq ft can be a super built-up area or saleable area and the actual usable area, that you might be getting, could possibly be only 800 sq ft.

     For instance, if the carpet area is 800 sq ft, the built-up area will be approximately 10 per cent more than the carpet area (800+80 = 880 sq ft), then super built-up area will be approximately 25 per cent more than the built-up area (880 + 220 = 1100 sq ft).

     So, when you decide to look for a house, it is not only the budget, location, project that you are required to finalise, it is also significant to understand these jargons. It is better to be alert than to be fooled.

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